Students will acquire the necessary skills (economic as well as cultural) to understand when and where globalization has begun, and to recognize which factors explain the unprecedented growth that, after the 19th century, has taken place in the world economy. A framework as such will allow to critically tackle the complex structure of the international economy, and to overcome the idea that the Western world is the only player of processes that by now are developing on a global scale.
A basic knowledge of economic history
Course contents summary
The course takes into analysis the globalization of economy in a long term historical perspective (from the 15th c. up to today) and using a broad geographical angle (Europe, America, Asia and Africa). To do so, a set of crucial topics will be considered: the “economy-worlds” before globalization (Europe, China, and India); the integration of commodities and capital markets; the impact of developments in transportation and communication; the process of economic convergence; the dialectical interaction between markets regulation and deregulation; global and local crises.
1) A nonconformist approach: world history, globalization and economy.
2) “Economy-worlds” before globalization (15th c.).
3) Who discovered who? The Age of Explorations (16th c.).
4) Commodity market integration (16th-18th c.).
5) Globalization through a product: the remarkable story of indigo.
6) Industrialization and the overturning of economic balances.
7) The “death of distance”: changes in transport and communications.
8) The “first wave” of globalization and the “Great” divergence.
9) Commodity market integration (19th-20th c.).
10) Convergence and divergence in the world economy (19th-20th c.).
11) Global finance and its regulation.
12) From Dutch tulips to Lehmann Brothers: a history of financial crises.
(1) F. Marks, The Origins of the Modern World Economy. A Global and Ecological Narrative from the Fifteenth to the Twenty-first Century, (2nd edition) Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007; (2) Globalization in historical perspective, ed. by M.D. Bordo, A.M. Taylor, and J.G. Williamson, National Bureau of Economic Research-The University of Chicago Press, Chicago-London, 2003.
Lectures, integrated by guided discussions and practical tests